Dental Care for the Whole Family
Proper oral care is necessary for patients of all ages. We believe if you want to enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile as an adult, it’s essential to practice excellent oral hygiene from an early age. At our practice, Dr. Shlafer and our friendly dental team will work closely with your child to establish good habits that will protect their teeth well into adulthood through our pediatric dental services.
What is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is the practice of providing dental care for children, starting when they’re infants and continuing through their adolescent years. It’s crucial that young patients see an experienced dentist who can show them the importance of oral health from an early age.
Children face a unique set of dental problems compared to adults, especially with their primary teeth, which is why extra care is needed when treating our younger patients.
What Services Does a Pediatric Dentist Provide?
When we care for younger patients, we do more than just clean their teeth—we teach them how to maintain a healthy smile for life. By doing this, we can help them avoid the pain and embarrassment of decayed or missing teeth in the future.
When you bring your child to our office, Dr. Shlafer and our team will thoroughly examine their mouth and polish their teeth. If any issues are detected, we’ll take the time to explain them in detail to your child and determine an ideal treatment solution.
Depending on your child’s age and the severity of their condition, treatment options can range from dental sealants to porcelain crowns.
When Should Kids Have Their First Appointment?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should take your child to a dentist when their first tooth emerges, typically between six months to a year after they’re born.
To prevent future health complications, your child should definitely see a pediatric dentist no later than their first birthday.
We recommend bringing your child with you to some of your dental appointments so they can get used to the environment. This will help them feel comfortable in our office and prevent them from developing a fear of the dentist.
Dr. Shlafer and our team maintain a positive, easy-going demeanor to help your child stay relaxed. By making an impression from an early age, we can help your child understand the importance of dental care in relation to their overall health.
What to Expect During Your Child’s Dental Appointment
We’ll provide your child with a comprehensive exam to get an idea of their overall oral health and hygiene. For younger patients, ensuring the proper care of their primary teeth is essential to facilitating speech production and good chewing habits. We also want to ensure that when the time comes, their permanent teeth will come in properly.
During this exam, we’ll perform the following tasks:
- Thoroughly clean your child’s teeth — We’ll brush and floss your child's teeth to remove any plaque or tartar that has accumulated.
- Inspect your child’s gums — Gum disease in its early stages is reversible, which is why we check for any of the warning signs during your child’s exam.
- Check your child’s jaw — Dentists are at the forefront of catching the early signs of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) so we also inspect your child's jaw as untreated TMD can lead to a host of problems.
- Take X-rays of your child’s teeth — X-rays are important because they help us detect any underlying and preventable issues that may be difficult to notice otherwise.
- Cavity risk assessment— Identifying your child’s diet, health history, and habits allows us to determine what their risk is for developing cavities.
After the exam, we’ll be able to provide you and your child personalized recommendations for preventing cavities.
Younger children may need some extra support when it comes to preparing for a dental visit. Dr. Shlafer recommends following these tips to help you and your child prepare:
- Speak positively about the upcoming dental visit and the dentist.
- Schedule your visit during a time when your child is well-rested and most comfortable.
- Bring along your child’s favorite comfort item or toy.
- Use positive reinforcement or a healthy reward.
- For younger children, introducing programs or books that depict characters visiting the dentist may ease anxiety.
- Bring your child along to your own dental visits so they can get accustomed to being in a dental office.
Neglected cavities that develop in baby teeth can affect the development of permanent teeth, which is why caring for your child’s primary teeth is essential.
- Socialization and self-confidence
- Proper eating and chewing habits
- Normal development of the jaw muscles and bones
- Providing necessary space for permanent teeth
- Guiding permanent teeth to their proper position
Visit Dr. Shlafer for Pediatric Dental Care
At our practice, we place significant value on educating our young patients. We want to ensure they’re equipped with all the tools they need to enjoy a healthy, stunning smile for many years to come. This will greatly reduce their odds of developing health issues as an adult.
Give us a call at (248) 781-0040 to schedule your complimentary consultation or stop by our Farmington office to meet our exceptional team of dentists. We proudly serve patients from Westland, Livonia, Birmingham, Novi, Farmington Hills, and throughout Michigan.
Don’t wait, come and see how pediatric dentistry is done differently at the office of Roman Shlafer, DDS.